Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Sex in an Evolutionary Perspective: Just Another Reaction Norm
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4195-8920
2010 (English)In: Evolutionary biology, ISSN 0071-3260, E-ISSN 1934-2845, Vol. 37, no 4, 234-246 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is common to refer to all sorts of clear-cut differences between the sexes as something that is biologically almost inevitable. Although this does not reflect the status of evolutionary theory on sex determination and sexual dimorphism, it is probably a common view among evolutionary biologists as well, because of the impact of sexual selection theory. To get away from thinking about biological sex and traits associated with a particular sex as something static, it should be recognized that in an evolutionary perspective sex can be viewed as a reaction norm, with sex attributes being phenotypically plastic. Sex determination itself is fundamentally plastic, even when it is termed "genetic". The phenotypic expression of traits that are statistically associated with a particular sex always has a plastic component. This plasticity allows for much more variation in the expression of traits according to sex and more overlap between the sexes than is typically acknowledged. Here we review the variation and frequency of evolutionary changes in sex, sex determination and sex roles and conclude that sex in an evolutionary time-frame is extremely variable. We draw on recent findings in sex determination mechanisms, empirical findings of morphology and behaviour as well as genetic and developmental models to explore the concept of sex as a reaction norm. From this point of view, sexual differences are not expected to generally fall into neat, discrete, pre-determined classes. It is important to acknowledge this variability in order to increase objectivity in evolutionary research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 37, no 4, 234-246 p.
Keyword [en]
Phenotypic plasticity, Sexual selection, Sex determination, Sex change, Sex role reversal, Gender bias
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-51324DOI: 10.1007/s11692-010-9101-8ISI: 000284364700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-51324DiVA: diva2:385073
Note
authorCount :2Available from: 2011-01-11 Created: 2011-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Nylin, Sören
By organisation
Department of Zoology
In the same journal
Evolutionary biology
Biological Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 182 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf